Promising opening for York

City of York won a closely contested match in the opening round of the Northern League (Division 1) at Thornes Park, Wakefield, on Saturday.

There international 400m runner Richard Buck won the 200m in 22.1 secs. Blackburn's Sophie Hitchon set a new League record in the hammer with 64.39m

Relegated from Division 1 last year, Leeds City won a narrow contest over Gateshead and Durham City in the Division 2E on their home track on Saturday.

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Sam Allen was in top form for Leeds, winning the javelin with ease, his 54.60m effort being almost 15m clear of the opposition.

Tim Miller made it maximum points for Leeds with a B-string win as he had earlier done in the high jump.

The A-string high jump was won by veteran Steve Linsell, the Leeds athlete clearing 1.80m displaying remarkable consistency for a 46-year-old whose best of two metres was set 13 years ago.

Dale Worton had a well judged 800m win for Leeds in 1.58.5 and Danny Brownbill and Mark Gilmer gained maximum points in the 400m. In the women's events, Leeds had the 400m winner, Sheryl Punter, who clocked 59.3 secs.

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Rotherham opened the season in style with a win in Division 2EC at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.

Their best event on the track was the men's 800m where former Yorkshire Champion Rhian Hastey won by a massive margin in 1:54.7 with Gareth Moreton winning the B race.

Rotherham were without most of their top women middle distance runners but Abbie Vernon used the meeting as a useful workout. She not only won the 800m easily in 2:16.4 but she was runner up in the 400m and in the 200m B race.

City of Sheffield finished third. Jamie Williamson scored a predictable double for them in the shot (15.91m) and discus (47.33m) as did 18-year-old Tesni Ward in the women's events. She threw 12.97 in the shot and 42.92 in the discus.

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Bingley narrowly beat Holmfirth in Division 2WC at Halifax despite a valiant effort by Holmfirth's Graham Bickerdike.

He won no less than four events, the shot (12.68m), discus (39.12m), javelin (52.81m) and pole vault (3.30m).

Zurich will host the European Championships in 2014, the European Athletics Council announced at the weekend.

This year's championships will take place in Barcelona from July 26 to August 1. The 2012 championships are scheduled for Helsinki from June 27 to July 1.